Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into moulds which are allowed to drain. The curds will stick together, producing soft white blocks. The process of making tofu is similar to cheese making.
There are two main kinds of tofu, silken/soft tofu, and firm/regular tofu. Both can be found in soft, medium, firm and extra firm consistencies. They are made from the same ingredients, but the curds are processed differently depending on the form of tofu that is being manufactured.
Silken tofu contains the highest moisture content and is curdled directly into the tofu’s selling package. For firm tofu, the curd is cut and strained of excess liquid using muslin and then lightly pressed to produce a soft cake. Firmer tofu is further pressed to remove more liquid.
Choosing the right type of tofu is important for cooking. Firmer tofu will hold its shape when handled so it is the best form to use in a stir-fry while silken tofu breaks up easily and can be used in dessert dishes.
I used silken tofu silken for this dish as it was just put on a plate and steamed, and was not cooked in a way that would make it break apart. I love the melt in your mouth custard like texture of silken tofu and it’s great with some mince pork on top. The pork mixture provides flavour and a textual contrast.
• Block of silken tofu
• Olive oil
• 100g mince pork (seasoned with a little salt, white pepper, fish sauce and oyster sauce)
• 1 shiitake mushroom, reconstituted and finely diced
• 2 sprig spring onion - white part only, finely diced
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• ½ teaspoon grated ginger
• pinch of salt, white pepper, sugar - to taste
• 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
• ½ teaspoon fish sauce
• ½ tablespoon oyster sauce
• 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
• 1 – 1 ½ cup chicken stock
• 1-2 teaspoons cornflour
• garnish – chopped spring onion and coriander
(Diced shiitake mushrooms)
Season the minced pork with a little salt, white pepper, fish sauce, oyster sauce and mix together well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Steam the block of silken tofu for 8 minutes on low heat.
While the tofu is steaming, make the sauce. Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil. Add in the crush garlic, grated ginger, finely diced white part of the spring onion and fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Then add in the mince pork and fry until golden brown making sure that you break up any clumps. Then add in the shiitake mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms have browned. Add in some salt, white pepper, sugar, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and fry for a few minutes. Then deglaze with Shaoxing wine. Add in the stock and simmer for a few minutes and then thicken the mixture with the cornflour mixed with a little water.
When the tofu has finished steaming, discard the excess water before spooning on top of the tofu the mince pork sauce mixture and garnish with some spring onions and coriander.
Here are some of my other tofu recipes: